Accuracy, honesty, risk
Increased pressure on the need for reliable financial information has put the spotlight on audit and assurance services. The underlying value of audit is a means of maintaining credibility of the business; audit & assurance play a fundamental role in the successful management of an organisation. Audit is not just about being compliant; it should also provide an independent check on key financial aspects of the business, thereby presenting the business owner with useful information to influence potential management opportunities. We may advise on more efficient systems, identify weaknesses or strengths, or suggest new ways to make savings; opportunities are not confined to financial matters.
Our approach demonstrates deep client understanding and extensive business advisory experience. We will ensure utmost integrity and minimal disruption to the business, delivering results in the timescales agreed. We aim to establish effective working relationships with management, non-executive directors and other advisors.
External Audit – Statutory
Some UK companies are required to have their annual financial statements audited, determined principally by size or public interest. Others for various reasons, including agreement with shareholders to fulfill financing requirements, may also require an audit. We offer specialist audit skills beyond the reach of most regional practices. We will perform the annual statutory audit of the financial accounts, providing an opinion on whether they are a true and fair reflection of the company’s financial position. As external auditors we will also examine and evaluate internal controls put in place to manage the risks which could affect the financial accounts, to determine if they are working as intended. We will ensure that all statutory obligations are fulfilled and audited accounts filed promptly.
External Audit – Non-Statutory
A non-statutory audit is not legally required. While statutory audits are generally concerned with financial systems and procedures and fraud prevention, non statutory audits can be conducted in any part of the business. Common types of non statutory audit include IT audit, to make sure the business is using the most efficient and effective computer systems, procedures and networks; and forensics audit, to make sure the business has systems in place to prevent fraud. A non-statutory audit is not limited to financial reporting so can provide a greater level of detail into areas such as operations, and employee/customer satisfaction. A non-statutory audit does not need to be impartial and so we can offer advice and assistance with correcting any problems that emerge. Performance audits can be used to check that your business is operating at peak efficiency by reporting on manufacturing and overhead costs.
External Audit – Special Purpose
Special purpose audits refer to those circumstances in which the auditor is required to report on specific financial information for specific purposes to specific users. Special purpose audit is carried out to get specific assurance on a key aspect of a business; perhaps, for example, to obtain external funding.
Internal Controls Review
An internal control is broadly defined as a process, put in place by the directors, management or other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance about the achievement of key business objectives. They go beyond safeguarding against financial loss; they assist in maintaining reliable financial reporting and ensuring fully effective operations.
The best way to ensure that your business is operating efficiently is to have an internal control review performed. We can assess whether internal controls are properly designed, implemented and working effectively as well as assess the reliability of financial reporting and compliance with any applicable laws or regulations. We will make detailed recommendations for improvement to obtain greater efficiency and become more effective.
Internal controls go beyond safeguarding an organisation from financial loss. They can also assist in maintaining reliable financial reporting and maximizing effective operations.
Risk assessment is the overall process of risk identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation. A risk can affect many objectives, and the consequences may be beneficial or detrimental. Risk analysis is concerned with developing an understanding of the risk; it should generate a range of information including levels of risk, taking the current controls into account. Risk evaluation is the step in which decisions are made, based on the outcomes of the risk analysis, to decide which risks need priority attention. Risk treatment involves selecting and implementing options for modifying risk. We can assist in the identification of key controls and setting priorities for assurance activities, including the development of assurance plans.